Summer is coming to an end, and temperatures are starting to drop. Here in Florida, we may not experience storms of snow and ice like the northern states, but the weather does change, and so should our strategies for staying healthy. L.A. Quinn M.D. in Jax Beach wants to keep you happy and healthy year-round, with a wide selection of wellness treatments customizable to your needs, including IV hydration therapy. In today’s blog, we’ll talk about a winter health hazard you probably don’t consider enough – dehydration – and the steps you can take to feel your best no matter the season. Keep reading to learn more and call L.A. Quinn M.D. today to learn more about our dehydration treatments!

Dehydration 101

When your body loses more bodily fluids than you replenish – typically water – you become dehydrated. Most people probably think about it in the context of drinking enough water after sweating through a hard summer workout, but staying properly hydrated is important throughout the winter as well. Water is an essential element for our bodies, from maintaining our metabolism and heart function to our mood and focus. Dehydration can seriously impact your health and your ability to function normally, and it can even be fatal. It’s important that you stay mindful of your fluid intake no matter the season.

Why Winter is Dangerous

Complacency

One of the reasons why you need to be especially careful in winter is because you are likely less mindful about staying hydrated. You’re shivering instead of sweating most of the time, and it can make it easy to forget that your body is still losing water. You probably already know that the air has less moisture during the winter, and you can see the effects in dry, cracked skin. The need for lotion is just an indicator of a larger trend of dryness that can affect your entire body — don’t ignore it!

Muted Symptoms

Winter dehydration can sneak up on you, and not just because you forget that you need to drink water. Your body forgets to tell you, too! Studies show that you feel up to 40 percent less thirsty in low temperatures. The way your body reacts to cold, constricting blood vessels to preserve your core temperature, tricks it into thinking it is well hydrated.

Increased Fluid Loss

A break from the Florida humidity may feel nice, but it has a direct effect on how fast your body loses fluids. We tend to wear more layers in the winter to stay warm, which can encourage sweating. That sweat evaporates more quickly in cool, dry air, and, in turn, dehydrates your body faster. Even breathing can contribute — studies show that you lose more moisture to the dry winter air through respiration than you would in warmer, more humid conditions. If you can see your breath, you’re actually watching water vapor escape from your body into the air.

Watch Out for These Effects

We’ve discussed the effects of dehydration in a past blog, and you are probably familiar with the signs: dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, an inability to sweat or produce tears, and more. However, during the winter months, there are couple other dehydration side effects you may not have considered.

Weight Gain

In the colder seasons, we naturally tend to eat more and exercise less. Staying hydrated has been shown to help stave off hunger and encourage you to eat less. We often turn to food when our bodies are in fact craving water. If you have a weight loss goal, then continuing to drink water throughout the winter is especially important. Dehydration may cause you to lose the progress you’ve worked so hard for.

Illness

As we have mentioned before, staying hydrated is important to staying healthy. When you’re even minimally dehydrated, you are more vulnerable to viruses. Winter is cold and flu season, so keep that water bottle within reach!

What You Can Do

Keep Drinking Water

Your first defense against dehydration in any season is to drink more water. Remember, even if you aren’t visibly sweating, you are still losing fluids that you need to replenish. Feel free to indulge in warm beverages like tea, but be cautious of drinks with caffeine, which is a diuretic that can work against your hydration efforts.

Enjoy Alcohol in Moderation

There are a lot of delicious winter cocktails to enjoy, from spiked cocoa to eggnog, and you’ll probably have plenty of opportunities to drink one or two with holiday parties throughout the season. Alcohol – like caffeine – can dehydrate you, so if your goal is to drink more fluids and stay healthy, then make sure you’re drinking the right kind of fluids. Feel free to indulge in that eggnog, as long as you drink plenty of water!

Try IV Hydration Therapy

One of the best, most direct ways to rehydrate your body is with intravenous therapy. L.A. Quinn M.D. offers this minimally invasive procedure to introduce fluids, vitamins, and other important nutritional supplements into your bloodstream, so you can start enjoying the benefits faster. We offer an extensive menu of choices, from basic dehydration treatment to targeted therapies for athletes and world travelers. You can also meet with Dr. Quinn to create a customized IV therapy to meet your needs!

As the temperature dips, stay hydrated and healthy with help from L.A. Quinn M.D. Explore our site to learn more about all our wellness services and call today to schedule a consultation! We look forward to helping you live your best life.